There are video players in Windows that can use external subtitles when playing a DVD movie, but are there in Linux too?

(MPC-HC and PotPlayer are the most obvious solutions for this in Windows. I was not able to instal them in Linux under Wine/Playonlinux.)

VLC does seem to work, but with some limitations. At least sometimes what happens is this: it loads the subtitle but from time to time during playback when they should appear they do so for too short a time or not at all; after seeking back or forth they disappear completely and adding them again doesn't work then, I have to restart the movie. So, the idea is to avoid seeking. Changing video output doesn't change this.

Kaffeine can play the DVD movie very well, but there is no obvious way to add an external subtitle to it. The same for Xine, KMPlayer, Dragon, Parole..

2 Answers 2


MPV has no menus for DVD, but it works very well. To start the DVD, access the DVD folders and drag&drop the VIDEO_TS folder onto the MPV's window. Then do the same with the subtitle file.

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From my experience, in this case the main movie is started directly.

To do that with a command, use something like

mpv dvd://


mpv /media/username/*/VIDEO_TS

To get the correct path for that, mount the DVD, copy/paste the VIDEO_TS path and replace the variable DVD movie name with *, as indicated under this question.

That command can be used in a panel launcher, .desktop file or shortcut to start playing the DVD with one click.

An example of .desktop launcher:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=mpv /media/username/*/VIDEO_TS
Name[en_US]=Play DVD in mpv Media Player
Name=Play DVD in mpv Media Player

Replace username with yours and the icon path. You can use this icon :)

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or this

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When the player is started with the command mpv /dev/sr0, it will play and seek through all included streams including menus as if in a single file (no DVD menu support).


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Does the job of adding external subtitles to DVDs. No DVD menus by default, although this can be enabled as an experimental feature under Options -Preferences - Drives. (DVD menus seem to work if mplayer is selected as multimedia engine but not with the more recent mpv.) When the menus are not enabled the main movie is shown in playlist as one separate entry and is easy to identify and add a subtitle to it.

So, start playing the item that corresponds to the movie and then add the external subtitle: it should work very well.

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External dvd subtitles usually look better than the ones on the dvd.


Typically I use VLC for watching movies with external subtitle files. Occasionally the timings in the file are a little off, but it has always been an issue with the files, not VLC for me.

What to you mean with "loses it after a while"? The subtitles stop displaying, or they move out of sync with the video?

  • I have updated my question on VLC.
    – user32012
    Feb 4, 2016 at 5:41
  • Every time I try it, external subtitle display for a DVD in VLC is erratic. MPV works great though, with a launcher containing the line Exec=mpv /media/username/*/VIDEO_TS
    – user32012
    Feb 18, 2016 at 17:30

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